Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 13, 1958: Stan The Man Picks Up Hit Number 3,000 at Wrigley

     On May 13, 1958, Stan "The Man" Musial recorded the 3,000th hit of his career at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The manager of the Birds, Fred Hutchinson had sat Musial on the bench in hopes of the Cardinals legend be able to reach the milestone in front of the Redbird faithful in St. Louis the next day. However, Hutchinson had no choice but to call on the number 6 during the sixth inning with the team trailing 3-1 with one out, a man on second, and the Cardinals hurler Sam Jones on deck who promptly gave way to the 37-year-old legend of the game. Musial stepped to the plate, and worked the count to 2-2, before Moe Drabowsky delivered a curveball that turned into a milestone hit as Musial slapped an RBI double into left-center. His 3,000th hit sparked the Cardinals offense to a four run frame, and the club went onto win 5-3.

     While Musial was not able to record the hit in St. Louis, he got a heroes welcome when he arrived at Union Station in St. Louis,with a large crowd cheering "We want Stan!! We want Stan!!!" as the train rolled in. When Musial stepped off the train and was mobbed by fans, and newsmen. He proclaimed "I know now how Charles A. Lindbergh felt." The Man went onto say "You're wonderful, you St. Louis fans. I'd like to have made the hit here, but we felt the game was more important."

      Musial was the eighth player in the history of the game to record 3,000 hits, which included the likes of Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb. He added 630 more hits to his totals before his legendary career came to an end, and while he missed out on hit number 3,000 at home, he made 3,001 one to remember for the home crowd as he parked his 387th home run over the wall at Busch. He went 3-4 for that day, and once again his bat proved key in victory as the Cardinals knocked off the Giants 3-2.

     Musial truly embodied everything that is great about the game that we call America's National Pastime.  I have said this before, and I will say it time and time again. There is no other athlete that I admire more than Stan Musial. What I admire most is not the player, but the man that he was. When you can say that about a player that was as a great as Stan, you know that he was much more than a ballplayer. (The picture to the right was on the cover of the Sporting News  on May 14, 1958.)

Watch footage of the historic hit here, that also includes interviews with Musial: http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/40773316/v25568137

Historic Box Score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN195805130.shtml

Stats of a Legend: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/musiast01.shtml

No comments:

Post a Comment